Wisdom and Beauty in Rest

rest often, in the right wayI’ve been a tad bit sick this past week, so have done my share of lounging on the couch and bed with my sweet dog curled up next to me. Although I am back at work now, I’ve still got resting on my mind. Professor B. G. Jefferis seems quite the expert on this topic; here’s a quote from his Household Guide. Go forth, good people, and rest!

1902: Wisdom and Beauty in Rest

Good Health. ~ In these days of ten-minute-a-day reading, or half-hour studying societies for improving the mind, how many women make it a point to spend certain ‘minutes’ in rest to improve their nerves and their beauty? Good health is of vastly more importance than intellectuality, for of what comfort to its possessor, or to any one else, is the most brilliant mind which lives in a weary or nervous body? Sheer weariness causes more trouble in the world than it ever gets blamed for. A rested person, other things being right, is a pleasant one; while a tired person, under whatever advantageous circumstances, is almost sure to be cross. Many a family wrangle has started from a few sharp words caused by overstrained nerves.

Personal Appearance. ~ It is natural ~ and perfectly right ~ for a woman always to consider her personal appearance of great importance. That fact should cause the subject of rest to find favor, as those who are always a little overtired never look well. Their faces assure a worried, frowning expression, and wrinkles, gray hairs, dull eyes and sallow complexion follow in natural succession.

The Best Rest. ~ Would you keep your fresh complexion, and plumpness, and bright eyes? Then rest! Rest often, and rest in the right way. Do not insist that change of occupation is rest. There is no greater delusion. It is nothing of the kind. It simply varies the kind of fatigue ~ adds another different in location. The best rest, the only real rest, is found in a recumbent position. No one can stand or sit without holding comparatively taut some muscles, and the tension tires them and the nerves by sympathy. To rest, lie down on something entirely comfortable, and relax every nerve and muscle as much as possible. This is not altogether easy to do at first, but ‘practice makes perfect.’ The rest of it is wonderful ~ in fact, the whole secret of rest lies in the one word: relaxation. Notice a baby’s or an animal’s complete relaxation while it sleeps. Five minutes at a time several times a day ~ and more if possible ~ of such rest will certainly add to length of life and happiness.

False Economy. ~ Many people think that they cannot afford to lie down in the daytime, or if they do that they must improve the time by reading. It is a false idea of an economy of time. Neither the reading nor the resting is well done; and so the time spent is practically wasted. But to take little rests ~ lying down ~ does not waste time; it is time invested in a way that pays big dividends.

Source: Jefferis, Prof. B. G. The Household Guide, or Domestic Cyclopedia. Atlanta, Ga.: J. L. Nichols & Co., 1902.
~ pp. 49 ~